India imported 651.24 tonnes of gold in financial year 2020-21 as compared to 719.94 tonnes in the year-ago period, the government said on Wednesday. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said the imports stood at 982.71 tonnes in FY 2018-19.
Replying to another question, she informed that the import of toys, games, sports equipment from China is showing a declining trend. “The imports of these products from China have reduced from USD 451.71 million in 2018-19 to USD 206.11 million in 2021 (from April 2021 to Jan 2022),” she added.
Globally, the demand for gold was 797.3 tonnes in 2021; a jump of nearly 78 per cent from the 446.4 tonnes in 2020, finds a recent report by the World Gold Council (WGC). Gold demand in India kept pace with the global trend.
The growing demand for gold is chiefly due to inflation and interest rate expectations in 2021. “Investments may struggle in 2022 amid competing forces but consumer demand should hold strong and central banks will likely keep buying,” said a World Gold Council (WGC) report.
With the lockdown restrictions easing June onwards after the second wave of Covid reduced and with the successful roll-out of the vaccination program, India’s economy gradually started recovering in 2021. This boosted consumer sentiment both in urban and rural India.
Other major reasons that led to the spike in the gold demand in the fourth quarter were festivals and weddings. From October onwards, festivals like Dussehra and Pushya Nakshatra pushed up gold sales volumes above pre-pandemic levels, finds the report. Due to these factors, demand for gold in India for Q4 was at 343.9 tonnes, up 85 per cent from the Q4 demand in 2020, with the gold demand value at Rs 148,780 crore.